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Other Things Taipei


The National Palace Museum

This museum is unique by being one the the finest and most interesting museums in the World. It contains hundred thousands of artifacts and fine works of art collected by China's ancient emperors.  Everything is here, - paintings, calligraphy, bronzes, ceramics, fine porcelain, jades, - you name it -, and most of it is of very high quality.
The story on how this fine collection ended up here in this fantastic museum starts during the Japanese invasion of China.  The Chinese leader in those turbulent times, - Chiang Kai-shek -, wisely ordered evacuation of the best treasures from the Forbidden City in Beijing, since the Japanese imperial army came closer and closer.  Packed in thousands of crates the art object were taken further inland and out of reach of the Japanese army.  Several times the collection was moved around to different locations in China, but in 1945 when the Japanese Imperial army was finally beaten, the treasures could still not return to Beijing, because the war continued, but now as a civil war, - the Chinese government against the communist army under control of Mao. This war did not go well, and finally in 1948 it was decided to bring the best of the art collection to safety in Taiwan, in order to prevent it from falling into communist hands.
During Mao's reign thousands of temples and priceless pieces of art and architecture was brutally smashed by the rage of the Red Guard, - even the tomb of the most Chinese of all, - Kung Fu Tse -, was smashed.
Chiang Kai-shek once said, that Mao's biggest crime was not his responsibility for millions of people killed, and causing terrible sufferings to even more people.  No, - Mao's biggest crime was the "killing" of the Chinese culture.

But the best part of the imperial Chinese collection is now safe in Taiwan, - and here it is for all to see in this magnificent building, - the National Palace Museum. Although very big and massive, the building is not big enough to show everything, but what is not on display is hidden in safety in a bomb proof tunnel system into the mountain behind the museum building. Now and again, the collection on display is changed out with new items from the storage tunnel, so that you can come back time after time and still see new things in the exhibition halls.

The National Palace Museum
(Photography © Karsten Petersen)

The National Palace Museum
(Photography © Karsten Petersen)

The National Palace Museum
(Photography © Karsten Petersen)

The National Palace Museum
(Photography © Karsten Petersen)


Unfortunately photography is not allowed inside the National Palace Museum, and therefore I can not display my own pictures of some of the many art objects I like, but the two pictures below, showing two of my own absolute favorites, is free for all to download from the internet.

This chinese cabbage is carved from a natural piece of jade.  Also the colour is natural and it is truly amazing how the artist could "see" this cabbage inside the raw piece of jade.

Another one of my absolute favorites is this natural stone, looking exactly like a piece of pork meat just bought from the butcher shop.

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Page initiated:  Feb. 08. 2013